Fans of Dog the Bounty Hunter know that Duane "Dog" Chapman's life has been full of mishaps, tragedies and addictions every step of the way. In fact, rumors surrounding his mysterious past continue to plague him, even years after the show was shut down for good.
While fans beg for A&E to strike a new, recurring deal with Dog and his wife, Beth Chapman, now that she is cancer-free, the network continues to air reruns of the family's eight-season run from 2004 to 2012.
Continue ahead to read about the tragedies and adversity the 65-year-old has faced throughout his life.
Dog's troubled childhood and teenage years
Before Dog made a living out of catching criminals, he was actually a criminal himself. Dog dropped out of school at age 13, with several rough years to follow. He joined a motorcycle gang called the Disciples and his jail record shows several arrests, mostly for armed robbery.prevnext
Convicted of first-degree murder
Dog's lifestyle eventually caught up to him and in 1976, he was convicted of first-degree murder, which he says he did not commit. He allegedly was waiting in a vehicle while his friend shot and killed a man during a drug deal. He was sentenced to five years at Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas as an accomplice to murder.
While in prison, he did field work and acted as the warden's barber, and only ended up serving 18 months of his prison sentence. He claimed in 2007 that while in prison, he tackled an inmate about to be shot for attempting to escape, which earned him a congratulatory remark by a corrections officer inspiring him to become a bounty hunter.
Because he is a convicted felon, Chapman is not legally permitted to carry a gun and never did while on his reality show.prevnext
Spent time in prison on bounty hunting-related charges
Throughout his career as a bounty hunter, Dog was put in many life-or-death situations, but he told The ShowBuzz that he would have gladly died to catch Andrew Luster, a man convicted of multiple rapes in 2003.
Dog tracked Luster to Mexico, where he violated Mexican extradition laws while placing him under custody. Because of that, Dog spent some time in prison — but the charges were eventually dropped.prevnext
Dog's daughter dies on the eve of his wedding
Dog's estranged daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman, was killed in a car crash in 2006 in Fairbanks, Alaska the night before Dog's wedding to Beth Smith, his fifth wife, in Hawaii.
Alaskan state troopers say Barbara, 23, was riding in a stolen SUV when it went off the road, rolled, hit some trees and landed upside-down. Troopers believe she and her friend, who was driving, tried using a stolen credit card to rent a hotel room, and they also suspect drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Dog was informed of the tragedy moments before his wedding ceremony, which he decided to go through with. Dog and Beth told guests of his daughter's death at the reception, which was to act as a celebration of her life.prevnext
Dog's strained relationship with his children
While Dog is married to Beth now, it took him a few tries to get there. After being married five times, Dog is the father of 12 children, many of which he is estranged from.
His son Tucker is rumored to have released tapes of Dog calling Tucker's girlfriend multiple racial slurs, including the N word, which caused A&E to temporarily shut down show production. It was eventually given the green light again, only to be pulled during negotiations a few years later.
Dog's daughter Lyssa wrote a book, Walking on Eggshells, that detailed her own troubled childhood. In the book, she claimed Dog was addicted to drugs and that her mother was an alcoholic.
“I [falsely] accused my father of raping me when I was 11,” Less wrote. “I had been molested by a friend of his. It was a horrible life that I never wanted to go back to, living with him and Beth and the fighting and the drugs. When I got to my mother’s, although she drank, it was much more peaceful. I was in school, I had friends, I was willing to do anything to not go back.”prevnext
Dog's grandson was allegedly abused by his father
In 2011, Dog and Beth were awarded temporary custody of Dog's 9-year-old grandson after an audio recording surfaced of his grandson's father, Dog's late daughter Barbara's boyfriend, abusing the boy.
Hawaii News Now reports that the man can be heard cursing at the child, saying "bend over" and then lashing him. Dog testified that the father was violent and that he wanted him to take parental classes before the boy returned home.
"To hear the audiotape of my grandson being abused was torture," Dog said in a statement at the time.prevnext
In 2011, a man Dog and his crew had arrested in 2009 for skipping out on bail bond filed a defamation suit against them. Dog reportedly claimed that during the 2009 arrest, Hoang Minh Phung Nguyen shot at Dog and his crew. Due to insufficient evidence and conflicting statements from members of Dog's team, however, the assistant district attorney dropped all charges.
Nguyen claims the arrest lost Nguyen his job and reputation, even despite the dropped charges. He also claimed that what really happened was not shown accurately on the TV series. Case records are closed and nothing was ever made public about the final outcome.prevnext
Dog and his family received a series of death threats in 2012 over the course of four days. A series of violently graphic emails were sent to Dog, indicating that the sender wanted to murder his family. The emails continued with threats to rape Dog's children.
The family reported the threats to the FBI, which has not arrested any suspects, nor released any names of suspects in the investigation.prevnext
Beth Chapman arrested
During a 2013 fishing trip to Colorado, Beth was arrested after a teenage girl pressed charges against her for harassment. Beth had reportedly yelled a variety of expletives at the teenager, who had driven by Beth. Beth called 911 and reported that the teen had a gun. However, Beth left the scene before police arrived, and the teen pressed charges against her.
After Beth did not show up for her summons, police issued a warrant for her arrest. She later turned herself over to police.prevnext
Dog and Beth robbed
Dog and Beth said they were robbed of $5,000 in their Los Angeles hotel room in March 2017. While there were no signs of forced entry and the money had been taken from the hotel room's safe, investigators suspected an inside job.prevnext
Beth's cancer scare
In 2017, Beth was diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer, which was documented in the A&E special, Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives in November.
In the special, Beth had revealed that doctors had given her a 50/50 chance as she headed into her battle, undergoing surgery to remove the tumor in her throat.
Toward the end of the special, Dog received an important phone call as he learned Beth was cancer free. A pathology report he showed Beth had no signs of the disease.
“Hello, attention. No cancer,” Dog said as he delivered the news.1comments
“There is a God. This could be a miracle. This could be a healing,” he said on camera. “[The doctor] said if I wasn’t such a good husband it wouldn’t have worked out that great. Oh, I can breathe. Beth Chapman, you did it.”
“When we made a pledge many years ago,” Dog previously told People. “I said I’d love her in sickness and in health until death do us part. And that truth has really, really come alive in my mind. And I have to stand on that; I gave her an oath that I would love her forever. And thank God it’s not till death do us part at this point.”prev